Head’s Blog 15th June Friday 15th June 2018

At school it has perhaps been the quietest week of the year as many year groups have gone out and done trips. We’ve had daily updates from Paris, where Year 7 are having “une semaine magnifique”, Year 8 in Wales, one so busy they’ve hardly sent me photos at all! Certainly when they get back and discover their incredible Common Entrance results they will be jumping for joy, as indeed are we and we congratulate perhaps the most successful Year 8 yet on their spectacular A* heavy results.

Of course the pupils don’t get these results without very hard work and effective learning techniques, support from home and of course outstanding teaching. I’m delighted by what has been achieved and congratulate my colleagues.

For me, highlights this week have been seeing Year 2 and Year 3 scurrying about collaboratively, looking for clues in their treasure hunt, getting incredible feedback from the trainers in Legoland robotics about how advanced and well mannered our digital leaders were, enjoying some pretty good singing at the community choir rehearsal, as well as polished performances in the Performance Platform in Pre-Prep this morning, it’s always fund to see the children in the audience responding to the rhythm by bobbing up and down appreciatively.  The children all did well.  I also enjoyed receiving day by day excellent CE results for our Year 8.

Staff News

I’m pleased to introduce you to four more members of staff who will be joining us in September.

Hélène Lacroix, French and Latin






Hélène is a native French speaker who grew up in the centre of France. She moved to the UK three years ago, after having completed a degree in English and French literature at the Paris-Sorbonne University. She started her teaching career at Sevenoaks School where she taught French to all year groups and to bilingual students. She particularly enjoyed teaching lower school students and is very excited to be joining St Michael’s Prep School in September.

Interested in youth literature, Hélène has worked in a bookstore specialising in this field in Paris and has completed several internships, including one in Chichester library, helping with the ‘Summer Reading Challenge’. She also enjoys playing the piano, travelling and loves walking and cycling around the beautiful Kent countryside

Daniel Orpin, Year 4 Teacher






Daniel has been teaching in primary schools for six years and is looking forward to the opportunity of moving to St. Michael’s. Having gained a degree in French and Politics from Lancaster University he went to the Royal Military Sandhurst and served with the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. He left as a Captain, having served with the field army and training recruits. His experience training recruits later became the inspiration for the move to teaching. After the Army he worked in London in Human Resources in the banking sector. As a lover of the great outdoors this caused some problems! Eventually, fed up working in an office tower where he could not even open a window, he decided to retrain and make teaching his full-time career.
Daniel has been responsible for subject leadership in French and Computing, adventurous activity trips and for reinvigorating P.E. teaching and extracurricular clubs. He enjoys all things outdoors; from running and camping to horticulture. In recent years he has had to concede some activity time to the touch line, watching his own boys, who manage to fill his weekends with their own sporting activities.

Catherine MacIntosh, Year 3 Teacher






Catherine Macintosh has been a teacher for over fourteen years, and has a particular specialism in English, having been an English teacher in a boys’ grammar school and Head of English at a small Prep school in Kent.

She grew up in the beautiful Sussex countryside, but subsequently moved to Italy for two years, where she began her teaching career as a teacher of English as a foreign language. During this time she also indulged her love of the English language and its literature, gaining a First Class degree with the Open University in Literature. This quickly led to a PGCE at Canterbury Christ Church University College, and her following teaching positions in a grammar school and a Kent Prep school, both of which served to make her realise that there really could be no better job than teaching! Upon relocating to the Kent/Surrey border she has worked at two other London Prep schools, teaching the whole range of curriculum subjects.

She has two children (Y1 and Y4), who will also be joining St Michael’s in September. She continues to take a keen interest in Italian culture and language, and is always keen to try something new. She has recently taken up skiing, scuba diving and racket ball. She is delighted to be joining St Michael’s as a Year 3 Teacher.

Vikki Pinnock, TA in Prep

Vikki worked for 16 years in the city for an insurance company. Taking a complete career change, she joined St Michael’s as receptionist in March 2017. Throughout her time here she has loved getting to know the children and has now decided to pursue her career in working with children within the classroom. Vikki has accepted a job as a Teaching Assistant here at St Michael’s, which she is very excited about.

Vikki has gained most of her experience from her three children (aged 11, 8 and 3), who always keep her on her toes, however, she is looking forward to immersing herself in classroom life and training as a qualified TA.

We are delighted to see this new direction in Vikki’s career.


Have a great weekend.

Jill Aisher

Latest News

As Y5 pupil, C Hunter, explained during Monday’s assembly, Sevenoaks School has organised weekly food/supply collections for those in need during these very uncertain times.  The collections have benefited local organisations such as One Big Family: Helping the Homeless, Friends for Families, The Hygiene Bank, Sevenoaks Food Bank: Loaves & Fishes, Community Cupboard, area primary schools and others.  Miss Cat Davison, the School’s Director of Service and Social Impact, updates its online social media feeds (@sevenoaksimpact on Twitter and Instagram) with the items needed each week.  We hope that you will consider helping with this effort.  Together we can make a huge difference for those living right here in our community!
The details of the collections are provided below.  If you do wish to participate, please ensure that items are unopened and handled with washed or sanitised hands, and that social distancing is strictly adhered to on delivery.
What: Food, Supplies (check social media links for current needs)
When:   Every Tuesday, 9am – 12pm
Where: Outside Claridge House, Sevenoaks School,TN13 1HU
(Claridge House is just to the right of the main entrance of Knole Park on High Street)
On Monday our community-minded pupil also discussed a book collection which took place earlier this year for children in Ghana.  Below are photos of EduSpots centres where the books are available for local communities throughout Ghana.

We’ve been amazed by the phenomenal success of the Art Department’s recent challenge “Painting without Paint”. Set as part of our remote learning programme, children were asked to select a work of art of their choice and to recreate it at home – but without using paint!

The Art Department has been overwhelmed by submissions, which Miss Rodwell, described as “creative, humorous and inventive”. She added “Staff have been impressed by submissions that showed how carefully the children have looked at their chosen artworks in order to create such brilliant responses.”

Posts on our Twitter account have received positive responses from prestigious art galleries, such as the Tate and the National Gallery, with The Lowry in Manchester commenting “Wow, we love this!!” on T Neville’s version of L S Lowry’s “Man Lying on a Wall”. But it’s not just art galleries in the UK, who have responded to the children’s art; their work has been liked by the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen in Dresden and the Mauritshuis in Den Haag. One Year 3 pupil, who was inspired by artist Aja Trier, even reached New York, as permission was sought to post an image of one of her paintings. She was delighted to allow us to feature her work and on seeing J Gagg’s interpretation commented “Oh my gosh that is precious! Please tell the artist I love it! I will post on my Instagram and Facebook. Thank you!” She went on to tell us “I am always so humbled when kids are inspired by my work, but this is next level!”

In order to show you all the wonderful work our pupils have done, we’ve put together an online gallery of the work. Talking about the project and the reaction, Mrs Barratt declared “This is wonderful!” and reactions from other schools included the comment “Excellent work St Michael’s Art Department this is a really fun activity”.

Mrs Bridges told us “I am absolutely delighted, and inspired, by the way that the children have responded to these challenges. Creativity is keeping us connected, not only within our own community but across the world too!”

We can’t wait to see what the department comes up with next. Miss Rodwell is keeping us in suspense “I’ve been working on a new one today …”. We’re sure that our pupils will have even more opportunity to excel!

Click here to view our online gallery of more ingenious images.

Some of our super St Michael’s Swimmers have won an array of silverware at recent events.

At the Sevenoaks Swimming Club presentation evening, I Pennington Legh was presented with the Kingsbury Cup for U10 girls; A Green was awarded the Kingsbury Cup for U10 boys; E Green received runner up plate for the best U9 boy; S. Taylor was awarded the Mike Radford Trophy for most improved U9 boy; A Ashton was presented with the U9 Individual Medley Cup and U9 trophy for most improved swimmer; B Tovey and J Taylor were both awarded plaques with their positions from the recent Sevenoaks Club Championships.

At the Black Lion Gala, Gillingham, at the start of March our swimmers again came away with medals. A Ashton won three gold, one bronze, one fourth and one sixth medal; A Green three gold and two silver medals; E Green four silver and one bronze medal; S Taylor one silver and one fourth medal and J Taylor a fourth position medal. V Medlen also came away with a medal from the gala.

Well done to all those swimmers; your hard work and dedication is certainly paying off!

Mrs Denton

Swim School Manager

Well done to our doubles girls, E Julio and S Savidge, who also played in last weekend’s Junior Orange Ball Tournament in Sevenoaks. They played four matches, won two, beating Sevenoaks Prep and Lady Boswell’s and lost two to the eventual finalists Amherst and Granville.

This was a great performance by the girls, particularly in the light of little experience of Orange Ball competition.

Well done!

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